Google has partnered with Makueni County government to train 10,000 youth in digital skills under the Grow with Google Initiative.
Country Director Charles Murito said the training will enable the youth exploit opportunities available online and earn a sustainable income.
"The training will enable the youth to leverage their digital skills to seek opportunities on the internet and pursue them depending on their passions and either establish digital careers or businesses," said the Google country director.
Already 1,300 youth have benefited from the digital skills training in the county.
Murito said the initiative is part of Google's Africa drive to train 10 million youth in the continent over a period of five years. So far four million have been trained since 2017.
"25 percent of those trained are Kenyans but we plan to upscale the numbers over time," he said.
Murito said Google will also partner with key stakeholders including the national government and counties to equip as many people as possible with digital skills across the country.
"We will also be going to Kitui and Machakos and eventually in all the 47 counties so youth and job seekers can reach online jobs across the world and perform them within their community as long as they have internet connectivity and a laptop, "added the country director.
He disclosed that Google has created a portal for the digital skills learning materials and translated into different languages.
"The ambition is to ensure that we are doing this in life situations and online so that people can also learn post the training on their own," added Murito.
The Google country director made the remarks on Friday at Wote town during the official launch of Grow with Google Digital Skills initiative, Makueni chapter.
Speaking at the launch Governor Kivutha Kibwana hailed the initiative saying it will curb unemployment among the youth.
"This is a project which as a government we shall embrace whole- heartedly as it will go a long way in addressing youth unemployment," said Kivutha.
He noted that the internet has many job opportunities that have not been sufficiently exploited in Kenya.
"We are very happy as Makueni to be part of the continental push to train 10 million youth to acquire digital skills and create sustainable livelihoods, " said the governor.
He disclosed that the county government in 2017 embarked on programme dubbed "Tusomee komputa Nduani" which means -let us learn computer skills at the village- to create a network of skilled human capital at the grass roots.
"Under the program 4,743 residents have been trained on basic digital skills while 120 youth were trained on advanced ICT skills," said Kivutha.
The governor also added that more than 460 youths in the county are set to benefit from the Ajira Digital Programme under the national government which exposes them to opportunities of working online.
"The programme is currently on going and segmented into four cylces. It is a very good initiative that will curb online gambling which is counterproductive and a menace to the young people," he said.
Kivutha said his government in collaboration with other development partners will establish an innovation hub at Wote to nurture and incubate ideas for the youth.
The governor appealed to the national government to support other counties roll out the initiative.
"I call on the Cabinet Secretary for Ministry of Information, Communications and Technology Joe Mucheru to help grow capacities in counties to empower the youth with digital skills," added Governor Kivutha.
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